After five years of product build-out and $40 million of capital, author Eric Ries shares his personal story of monumental startup failure. The important distinction that he draws is not that his company failed to execute. To the contrary, all went strictly to plan, hiring the best talent, releasing a well-tested application, and garnering ample media and user attention. But the fledgling enterprise was a monumental disaster because of "shadow beliefs" - a uniformly-held series of ideas the company never discussed or articulated. Among them, they believed that they knew what customers wanted, they erroneously believed they could predict the future, and they took solace in the idea that plan advancement equals measurable progress.